Progress towards prohibition in EU member states – a new briefing from the Global Initiative

Nineteen of the 28 European Union member states have enacted legislation prohibiting corporal punishment of children in all settings, including the home. More than half the EU child population is now fully legally protected from all corporal punishment, whoever the perpetrator – compared with the global figure of just one child in ten. But there is a long way to go towards achieving complete protection for children throughout the EU, with nine states still to complete law reform and governments in only three of these publicly committed to prohibiting corporal punishment in the home.

This briefing, published jointly by the Global Initiative and Save the Children, graphically illustrates the progress made to date, and sets out what needs to be done in those states that have yet to achieve law reform. It identifies immediate opportunities for drafting and introducing prohibiting legislation.

“A child should never be hit. In our times, in our world, corporal punishment has to be treated as a form of violence, not as a form of education. In our Intergroup on Children’s Rights in the European Parliament, we are committed to fight any violence against children and we are driving for a zero tolerance policy against corporal punishment. Last autumn, we obtained a significant result with the adoption of an important resolution for the 25th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, calling on Member States to formally prohibit and sanction corporal punishment of children. Corporal punishment is too often tolerated and too few Member States have put in place legislation to protect children from being hit. We will do all we can to accelerate progress across Europe, working with NGOs and civil society to raise awareness and to pressure more Member States to formally prohibit and sanction corporal punishment on children, also by training law enforcement authorities to protect children.” (Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights, European Parliament)

The briefing is being launched at the 9th European Forum on the Rights of the Child, June 2015. It is available here.

A limited number of hard copies is available for advocacy purposes, email